3 December 2018
Whether you’re undecided about your next travel adventure, or are simply looking for a good read, this short list of books will ignite your sense of wanderlust and get you pumped about traveling in the Andes.
Editor’s note: links are provided for each book, but we receive no profits if you decide to buy them. We just honestly think these are good reads.
LET’S START WITH THE BASICS
For general hiking knowledge, we’ve listed two good books that offer excellent basic information on hiking and the outdoor skills.
Hiking for Beginners (series) by T. T. Wanping
Starting from basics, this series of hiking books is a must-read for beginners thinking about hiking, or those who want a refresher course on basic skills and techniques.
Promising review: “I know my way around the woods and have been hunting almost all of my life. My kids are now to the age that they can enjoy the outdoors by going on short hikes. This book was a good refresher and I found it easy to read.” – Colton
The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley
A good read for anyone who not only enjoys adventure, but also wants to feel like an adventurer, this book offers knowledge on what it calls “forgotten skills”.
Learn how to use outdoor clues to find your way, predict the weather, locate water, track animals and much more, all in an easy to read writing style that keeps you hooked. A good addition to any collection of the best hiking books there are.
Promising review: “I originally got this book out of the library, but it was so good and was packed with so much information that I bought a copy. In it he describes how to find North based on all kinds of different plants, how to understand animal and human footprints, how to read the stars, and on and on. Tristan clearly has gotten plenty of ‘dirt time’ to refine his observations – this isn’t an armchair guy who has just brought together a lot of ideas originally developed by other people.” – FredFamily
ON PERU, THE MOUNTAINS, OUR HISTORY, AND CUSCO
Based on true adventure stories, historical facts and on the writers’ heartfelt love for Peru, these books should ignite your inner Peruvian flame, and perhaps motivate you to write your own Andean travel story.
The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming
For a subject that’s been written about extensively, this book stands out as a vivid, readable and detailed account of a tragic period in Andean history. A well-written and accurate narrative of how a small group of Spanish conquistadors were able to overpower the powerful Inca Empire, forever changing the course of history in the Andean region. Be sure to check this one out.
Promising review: “Fascinating, well researched and documented book that shows what happened when the Spanish arrived in the Andes. It reads like a fast-paced adventure novel, and shows just how difficult it was to conquer the Incas, and that a lot of what happened was luck on the part of the Spanish. A must read for anyone interested in the Incas, the Spanish and European colonization of the Americas.” – Sara Meyer
Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
Mixing his own personal experiences and contrasting them with the story of the man who is credited for “discovering” Machu Picchu, this tale of adventure will definitely capture any reader’s imagination.
Detailed, expressive and highly recommended, it will get you excited about discovering the almost magical quality of an Andean trip.
Promising review: “I don’t know how it could have been any more perfect. Mr. Adams who writes with a sense of humor and a love of history, juxtaposes his grueling trips to Machu Picchu with the trips of explorer Hiram Bingham. It’s not just about the history of the discovery, but also about the events that surrounded Hiram Bingham for years.” – Serena
The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda
The only book on this list that strays away from classical storytelling and delves deep into the poetic realm is by non-other than Pablo Neruda.
His tale about climbing Machu Picchu has been widely praised, and is perfect for the adventurer with an artistic and poetic bent. Be sure to check this one out.
Promising review: “When I first read Nathaniel Tarn’s translation of Pablo Neruda’s great poem “The Heights of Macchu Picchu,” I was literally stunned. My immediate thoughts were two: incredulity that I had never encountered this masterpiece before, and an overwhelming desire to share it with as many people as I could.” – Michael J. Mazza
Enjoy the reading, let us know what you think about this list, and feel free to send us your own suggestions. Who knows, you might end up deciding to embark on your own unforgettable adventure in the Andes!